Building and sustaining health care capacity in Bihar: Lessons from COVID-19 response
Bihar was one of many states in India which was affected severely due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The state was recording approximately 1 lac new cases every day and a positivity rate of 16% in the month of May. The health infrastructure was outstretched and faced many challenges such as delays in RT-PCR test reports due to limited testing capacity, severe shortage of oxygen therapy and rising case count. It therefore became critical to control and prevent the spread of the disease. Efforts had to be time responsive to trace high-risk individuals, data gaps had to be filled and government services required strengthening at the state and district levels.
Sattva and other partners collaborated to support the Government of Bihar to strengthen the public health infrastructure and build resilience to combat COVID-19 with immediate impact as well as securing long term interests. The intervention was planned in a way that it could increase capacity as well as securing technologies which were mobile in nature to combat a surge in case of an increase in demand.
About the article
The efforts for this initiative were two pronged. One, to respond to the crisis based on immediate needs and urgent requirements and second, to increase preparedness for upcoming waves of the coronavirus. 11,455 units of equipment were delivered across 37 districts of Bihar over the course of 3 months as part of this initiative. This report details out the equipment which is deployed, learnings from implementing this initiative and insights on how we can build resilience for any future waves of COVID.
The article provides insights and recommendations for funders, governments and organizations assisting the government with its response to COVID-19. Learnings from this report may be used across India where there are resource shortages in the public healthcare system.
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